Mark Wood back in England team for second Test against Pakistan

London, Dec 8 (IANS) Pace bowler Mark Wood will return to the England team in place of the injured Liam Livingstone for the second Test against Pakistan starting on Friday.

Wood, 32, will replace Livingstone in the only change in the side that won the first Test. This means, regular wicketkeeper Ben Foakes, who missed the first Test through illness, fails to find a place for Multan and his stand-in Ollie Pope keeps the gloves.

By winning the second Test in Multan, England are looking to seal their first Test series win against Pakistan in an away series in 22 years.

Wood has not played a Test since March because of an elbow injury that kept him out of the home summer.

“Having someone in your squad who can bowl at 150 km/h is a massive bonus for any team around the world, especially as Pakistan is a very hard place to come and win,” England captain Ben Stokes was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Besides facing issues over injuries to some players, the England skipper is also a bit concerned about the smog and fog swirling around Multan, which could prompt yet more innovative tactics in the game which gets underway on Friday.

“In this Test, if it does pan out the way that it could potentially, with the late start and early finish, we could end up having only 300-350 overs in the Test match,” he said during the pre-match press conference.

“We might have to get even a bit more adventurous with what we do. We’ll see. Having someone of his calibre and what he brings will be massive for us. It will add to our ability to take 20 wickets,” Stokes added.



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